Africa: Film Stakeholders Streamline regulations for Nigerian movies, insist Foreign movies should be registered in Nigeria

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The Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) recently brought together stakeholders from the various guilds and associations in the country’s movie industry towards making the sector more robust and investor friendly.

The meeting which held at the Lagos zonal office of NFVCB was chaired by Executive Director, NFVCB, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas,
The decisive meeting saw the delegates reaching the following conclusions in line with the National Film and Video Censors Board Enabling Law Act, 1993 CAP N40 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 and Regulations 2008 :

1. All foreign films to be submitted for censorship, classification and approval must have copyright authorization and those who intend to import or export films or video works must seek the Board’s permit. Regulation 1 (1A), 2 and 3 and Regulation 20 (1), (2) and (3) , and Section 34 (2)
2. All plots, storylines, musical composition and inserts must also show evidence of originality or copyright authorization. R. 1 (3)
3. The recent introduction of labels/seals for each market copy of films and video works approved by the Board was pivoted on R. 2 (1) and R. 15 (1) to protect the originality and content of the medium for the overall best interest of stakeholders in the production of the film or video work and all producers/distributors must adhere strictly to this provision.
4. The Board shall only entertain films and video works presentation by members of duly registered professional associations of operators within the film and video industry. Independent operators will be restricted to private screening/exhibition for educational or informative content not intended for commercial purposes, mostly by government agencies, non-profit organizations, religious institutions and development agencies. R. 17 (1), (2) and (3), S.6 (1), S. 34 (1) and S. 53 (2), S. 54.
5. Practitioners, exercising their rights to freedom of association, will not be coerced into joining a particular body or guild, and would have the prerogative to decide on which registered guild or association to belong to.
6. Guilds/Associations heads shall, therefore, be held responsible for all infractions and contraventions of the laws and regulations governing the industry by their members.
7. A yearly Verification and Documentation fee shall be requested from all Guilds/Associations willing to be recognized by the Board. The rate will be determined by a committee to be set-up.
8. A copy each of extracts of the Act will be made available through the Guild/Association heads after verification and documentation
9. All Guilds and Associations should channel their grievances or complaints officially to the Board in writing with documented evidence as may be applicable. Guilds/Associations should also assist the Board in identifying and reporting both internal and external saboteurs and their nefarious activities through secured channels with the Office of the Executive Director.
10. All broadcast houses that distribute or exhibit films and video works are required to display the classification of the film or video work when showing, restrict some films and video works to a particular belt, and are required to submit a list of the details and status of their content suppliers to the Board quarterly and as at when needed. R. 19 (1), R. 25 (1) and R. 26 (1) Part VI

Nigeria’s film industry popularly called Nollywood has over the years grown in leaps and bounds even though with huge threat of piracy.

This led to most film makers embracing cinemas as a way of checkmating the menace which had eaten deep into the fabrics of the sector which is ranked second largest in the world in film ahead of Hollywood and behind Bollywood.

According to apanews.com, the industry currently contributes about N853.9 billion equivalent to 1.42 percent of Nigeria’s GDP.

Several debates have emanated from several stakeholders on how this cashcow of Nigeria’s non-oil sector can be made more profitable.

It would be recalled that Nollywood made its official entry in 1992 with the movie Living in Bondage written by Kenneth Nnebue and Okechukwu Ogunjiofor though filmaking in Nigeria had existed in the country since the 60s.

It is expected that the new regulations would further boost the fortunes of Nollywood and foster unity of purpose among the member guilds and associations.

By Francis Ogwo

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